Column: Long-Term Care Insurance … One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Long-Term Care Insurance: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

One thing we can all agree on is that no two people are exactly the same.

That includes your plans for retirement, which are most likely much different than those of your friends or family’s plans. 

One similarity many of us will share however is the need for long-term care.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ booklet, Medicare & You, 2011; about 70 percent of people over age 65 will need long-term care services at some point.

With the explosion of long term care services available, the need for long term care now and in the future cannot be denied. 

The question is, will you and your family be prepared? As with most aspects of retirement, a plan is essential.

One part of this plan could be Long Term Care Insurance protection. Medically qualifying for these plans should be your first consideration.

The medical underwriting is quite through. However, most carriers are looking for “control and stability” in whatever health history you may have developed over time.

Share your health history with a long term care specialist who can provide you with some idea if you may qualify for a policy. Next, when it comes to designing a plan, the features and benefits you choose will impact your premium.

Generally plans will cover Home Care, Assisted Living, and Nursing Home care, but you’ll want choose a monthly benefit amount that lines up with the cost of care in New Mexico, especially for home care, which is where most people want to receive care when needed.

Your health determines if you qualify, but your age determines your premium. “Couples” (including same sex) discounts are available with most plans. Another consideration should include where you will be living when you retire, so investigate the cost of care in that area/state.

Examine your budget, you may want to consider buying a plan similar to an 80/20 health plan, where the insurance will pick up 80% of the expense as a way to reduce your premium. In addition to traditional Long Term Care Insurance, many folks are also buying “hybrid” – combination life insurance/long term care plans or annuity/long term care plans.

Lastly, insurance is certainly not the answer for everyone, but everyone needs a long term care plan! What’s yours? Take advantage of your good health. Don’t put it off, talk to specialist who understands Long Term Care planning and the options available.

Edotor’s Note:  Leonard Salgado is an agent with Genworth Financial.

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